Help Plan My Long Weekend in Istanbul

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This is an installment in my Istanbul: End of Year Mileage Run with Dad series. Posts include; Cheap Istanbul Flights: From $576 Total Roundtrip on Delta from JFKHelp Plan My Long Weekend in IstanbulFlight Review: Alitalia JFK-Rome in CoachHotel Review: Westin Excelsior RomeHotel Review: Park Hyatt Istanbul Spa RoomIstanbul Eats and Excursions.

My Dad emailed me about a month ago asking if I knew of a way to get 7,000 Delta Medallion Qualifying Miles cheaply? I immediately emailed him back that he could get the Amex Delta Reserve Card and he’d get 10,000 MQMs with his first purchase – which will post towards 2011 status as long as he spends it in 2011.The card costs $450 a year, but gives SkyClub access, higher upgrade priority and a free companion ticket (including first class) every year. The benefits can greatly outweigh the annual fee, especially in the first year since Delta is selling 10,000 MQMs for a whopping $895!

However, that same evening I caught wind of ~$550 fares on Delta/Alitalia/KLM to Istanbul. I’ve never been and I know my Dad hasn’t either so I thought this would be a great chance to rack up elite miles and use some of the hotel points I’ve amassed this year through various promotions.

In the end, I was able to build in 3 nights in Istanbul and 1 night in both Rome and Amsterdam. I’ve been to the last two and have friends/tons of recommendations, but I have been so busy I haven’t done much research on Istanbul. I don’t think I’ve ever heard of someone disliking Istanbul, so I’m sure we are going to have a great time.

So as always – I’d like to hear from the legions of sage TPG readers – what should we do for four days in Istanbul?

The Platinum Card® from American Express

The American Express Platinum card has some of the best perks out there: cardholders enjoy the best domestic lounge access (Delta SkyClubs, Centurion Lounges, and Priority Pass), a $200 annual airline fee credit as well as up to $200 in Uber credits, and mid-tier elite status at SPG, Marriott, and Hilton. Combined with the 60,000 point welcome offer -- worth $1,140 based on TPG's valuations -- this card is a no-brainer for frequent travelers. Here are 5 reasons you should consider this card, as well as how you can figure out if the $550 annual fee makes sense for you.

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More Things to Know
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
  • Enjoy Uber VIP status and free rides in the U.S. up to $15 each month, plus a bonus $20 in December. That can be up to $200 in annual Uber savings.
  • 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel.
  • 5X Membership Rewards points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com.
  • Enjoy access to the Global Lounge Collection, the only credit card airport lounge access program that includes proprietary lounge locations around the world.
  • Receive complimentary benefits with an average total value of $550 with Fine Hotels & Resorts. Learn More.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit, up to $200 per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one qualifying airline.
  • Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue on your Platinum Card®. Enrollment required.
  • $550 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
Regular APR
N/A
Annual Fee
$550
Balance Transfer Fee
See Terms
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

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